Staff and Steering Committee

Steering Committee

The Steering committee meets once a month, on the second Monday of the month.  Members serve two years.  Meetings are open to the public.  Please call the office, 610-691-8730, with questions, concerns, & interest.

Diane Dilendik of Bethlehem is a long-time member of LEPOCO and has helped with everything from fairs and festivals to Peace Camp.  Most recently she has been a crucial member of the LEPOCO Bike/ Walk-a-thon Planning Committee, the LEPOCO Move Planning Committee, and is the current convener for the LEPOCO Book Group (see their reading list for 2020 in the last issue of this newsletter).  She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia.  She is retired from her work in education and nursing and is a very active volunteer driving others to doctors appointments and such for the Independent Transportation Network/ Lehigh Valley. 

Sharlee DiMenichi of Allentown, has been active in LEPOCO since the age of 14.  She convened the Disarmament Working Group and coordinated the 1992 Hiroshima/ Nagasaki observance.  At graduation she was awarded the Baker Peace Prize by Juniata College.  She currently works as a writer (having published a book on the Peace Corps) and as a pre-school teacher.  She previously served on the Steering Committee as co-treasurer.

Margot Hillman of Bethlehem, has been involved with LEPOCO since she moved to the Lehigh Valley in 1982.  She has worn many hats in the organization — printer, treasurer, representative to the Mobilization for Survival — and has been a dedicated leader at Peace Camp since the beginning. She previously served multiple terms on the Steering Committee.  She retired from her job in Information Technology near the end of 2017.  Margot is married to Steve Kraft; they have an adult son, Ben Kraft, who was a Peace Camper and Helper.

Julius Iwantsch of Bethlehem, has been a LEPOCO member since the mid-1970s.  He works as a design drafts-person, working mainly with municipal clients.  His interests include questioning U.S. military involvement around the world, military service alternatives for young people, and bringing this country’s reputation up to what it should be — through change.  He enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and home renovations.   He has been co-treasurer for over a decade.

Nancy Johnston of Easton arrived in the Lehigh Valley from West Virginia in the 1970s.  She is a Quaker and has been involved in Peace Camp for 25 years.  She is known for teaching children how to hug trees and love the environment — her own home having been certified as a National Wildlife Backyard Habitat.  She participates in the Peace Pilgrimage and has been with the Peace Singers for five years.  She has been an Associate Professor in the Nursing Department at Cedar Crest College for 20 years.

Mary Lang of Emmaus, joined LEPOCO and the Peace Singers just before the 2016 election, as she was looking for a way to use her musical gifts to make the world a better place.  Mary is a board certified music therapist who works with mental health and developmentally disabled populations.  Her musical talents include singing, playing guitar, piano, violin/fiddle, viola, and percussion, and she holds music degrees from Moravian College and Immaculata University. She is a millennial, and is hoping to bring with her ideas that will attract a more diverse membership to the organization and keep it operating for decades to come.

Monica McAghon of Easton, is a member of the Stop the Wars Committee, formerly Nuclear Abolition Sisters.  She earned her living for 18 years teaching critical reading to community college students.  Most recently, she taught developmental literacy for K-8th grade students in the after-school program at Easton Area Community Center. 

Dan Miller of Coopersburg, has been a member of  LEPOCO for over 20 years.  Dan and his family have been mainstays of Peace Camp since the 1990s — Dan and Ronnie Arena (his wife) as leaders and helpers, and their three young adult daughters were first campers and now are also leaders and helpers.  In 1977, Dan co-founded the Perkiomen Valley Academy, a private day treatment program servicing Montgomery County young people and their families.  He worked at this alternative school for disadvantaged and emotionally disturbed teenagers for 35 years.  Dan is a beekeeper and has coached youth sports for over 20 years.  (Dan will serve as a stand-by until we get through the pandemic.  He cannot do zoom meetings.)

Janet Ney of Allentown has served as an at-large Steering Committee member for over ten years.  She has been facilitating the Annual Dinner for many years, and is sometimes able to sing with the LEPOCO Peace Singers.  She previously served on the National Committee of the War Resisters League for several years.  Janet is employed by the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, having worked for the organization for over 30 years.  She is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown and volunteers for the Presbytery of Lehigh.

Tom Pietrzak is originally from the Lehigh Valley and a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic H.S.  After completing his college degree at the University of Scranton, he did a year of service work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, then lived in Boston for 12 years, where he developed an interest in urban education and eventually went on to work as a licensed therapist in the city’s public schools.  Upon returning to the Lehigh Valley in 2014, Tom joined the LEPOCO Book Group and became part of the Peace Pilgrimage’s Planning Committee.  He currently lives in Bethlehem and works for a small custom cabinetry business in Fountain Hill. 

Susie Ravitz of Easton was a founding member of LEPOCO and has been a faithful member of the Steering Committee for many terms.  She is a mainstay of the Stop the Wars Committee (previously Nuclear Abolition Sisters).  Her peace work has included participation in an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation to Israel /Palestine, as well as a delegation to Puerto Rico.  She was active in working to get the Navy to stop bombing Vieques.  Retired from her work at Valley Youth House and Art’s Toy Manufacturing Company, she travels a lot to visit her children and grandchildren from California to Israel.   Currently, in addition to LEPOCO, she works with the Hunger Coalition in Easton.

Tom Stinnett of Riegelsville has served as co-treasurer since 2009, and served a stint as solo treasurer many years ago.  A mechanical engineer, he is mostly retired from his work in the biotechnology equipment field, but still does some consulting work.  He has served as president of Riegelsville Borough Council for many years and is married to LEPOCO staff-person, Nancy Tate.  He has been active in many aspects of LEPOCO’s work since the early 1970s.

Jeff Vitelli of Bethlehem has been a LEPOCO member since the Vietnam era.  His avocations include being a poet, a musician, and an artist.  He is mostly retired from his work as a mental health counselor.  His work in LEPOCO has touched many bases  — among them: Peace Singers, nonviolence training, and writing “The Struggle Shared” column for the LEPOCO Newsletter.  He was one of the Muhlenberg V – remember that historic civil disobedience and First Amendment win.  Joining the Steering Committee at this time is part of his self-care plan.    

Ex Officio:

Nancy Tate

Amanda Zaniesienko

Office Staff:

Nancy Tate

Amanda Zaniesienko